Monkey controls wheelchair with brain

Mar

7

2016

It’s researchers succeeded in two rhesus monkeys to control a wheelchair through a brain-machine interface. The researchers linked the bmi directly with the brains of the monkeys using implanted electrodes.

rhesus wheelchair The conclusion of the study is that it is possible to put a human patient with symptoms of paralysis in a motorized, powered wheelchair, whereby the patient can learn to control the wheelchair with an implant that is placed directly in the cerebral cortex. That says lead researcher Miguel Nicolelis of Duke University in the United States in an interview with The Guardian.

The survey itself, which was published in Scientific Reports, describes how the rhesus monkeys ‘K’ and ‘M’ with the aid of an implant in the brains were able to control a wheelchair. The maximum speed at which propelling the wheelchair, was 28 centimeters per second.

Before the monkeys were able to control the wheelchair with the BMI, the activity was measured in the brains of the animals. They were previously put in the wheelchair, and wheelchair thirty times from three different positions drove to a vending machine at about two meters away, where a fruit came rolling out. While there could be driven in a straight line, the route was not made right. With this exercise, the researchers were able to measure the signals from the neurons which correspond to the movements of the wheelchair. In this way the algorithms could be fed with information depending on the distance traveled.

This knowledge was then used vice versa. If those signals in the brains of monkeys were formed, could play the wheelchair moved. During the test period, the improved driving skills of the animals. Monkey K, for example, improved his speed in order to reach the fruit from 43.1 to 27.3 seconds.

From the time that the monkeys themselves had to control the wheelchair, changed the pattern of the activity of the neurons relative to the pattern as a passenger when she were sitting in the chair. The neurons seemed to be better tweaked for the distance between the starting point of the wheelchair and the slot machine.

To prove that M and K something learned during the experiments, the relationship between the activity in the brain and the movement reversed, so they went back when they were expecting to go forward. After this intervention improved navigation accuracy greatly.

The study mainly shows that it is possible to control an “abstract” device with a coupling between brains and machine. Already managed to get a monkey to control an arm prosthesis, but such a prosthesis still looks a lot like a real arm.

Duke University experiments with rhesus monkeys have long and use their brain signals to move things. In 2007 succeeded example, researchers there to control robot legs over a large distance. These animals were well itself and the signals thereof were sent to a lab in Kyoto where then moved the robot legs.

When people are well placed implants that are connected directly to the nerves of the local muscles. To measure brain activity in humans is used electroencephalography through the scalp, whatever works, but much less than direct implants.

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